Sports Business

SPORTS: This sports writer's open letter to Jim Irsay ...Restricted Content

September 4, 2006
Bill Benner
Well, here we go again. Another season of high hopes for your Indianapolis Colts or, as many consider them, "our" Indianapolis Colts. They feel we're all in this together. That includes you, the folks you've assembled there on West 56th Street, and everybody here in the local universe who supports the product by buying tickets, leasing suites, purchasing gear, being a sponsor, providing copious coverage, or simply being a fan in front of the TV. Yes, at the end of...
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Pepsi considering mammoth warehouse on west side: Sources say firm's been scouting sites since springRestricted Content

September 4, 2006
Jennifer Whitson
A firm representing PepsiCo Inc. has been scouting sites on Indianapolis' west side for a mammoth warehouse and distribution facility, and sources said the beverage giant is leaning toward a site near its Gatorade bottling plant. Local real estate brokers said Chris Clayton, a broker with the Cleveland office of Dallas-based Staubach Co., visited sites and put out a request for proposals for the project in early April, calling for 1 million square feet of industrial space with the possibility...
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Racing toward a new type of learning center: Decatur, Panther team up on educational facilityRestricted Content

August 28, 2006
Scott Olson
Mention a career in motorsports to most youngsters and they imagine whizzing around the track like NASCAR's Tony Stewart or Sam Hornish Jr., points leader of the Indianapolis Racing League. But a partnership between Indianapolisbased Panther Racing LLC and Decatur Township Schools wants to introduce students to more practical professions within the sport by providing the resources in a hands-on learning environment. The result is the Panther Education Center, set to open next fall near the racing team's headquarters at...
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SPORTS: Behind the 'rock': Confessions of an IU football fanRestricted Content

August 28, 2006
Bill Benner
Ah, it's almost that time again. For the pomp. The pageantry. The Bloody Marys and brats in the parking lot. There are few things I look forward to more than college football season. And that would include Indiana University's season. Especially IU's season, in fact. File it under perverse pleasure. Somehow, I find ecstasy in the continuing agony of IU football. Time and again you get punched in the gut only to respond, "Sir, can I have another?" It's easy...
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SPORTS: A grim look at what the city's future could holdRestricted Content

August 21, 2006
Bill Benner
I was having a fitful time trying to sleep. For some reason, the word "priorities" kept running through my mind. Then, suddenly, I felt as if I were awake, standing in downtown Indianapolis. I caught site of a calendar in a storefront window. I blinked and shook my head. It read August 2026, but the city didn't look 20 years more modern. If anything, it looked 20 years older. It was as if time had passed by the Indy I...
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New Sports Corp. boss adjusting game planRestricted Content

August 14, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
Tom King thinks its time to run the not-for-profit Indiana Sports Corp. with a for-profit mind-set, a change that could radically alter the organization credited with implementing the city's amateur sports strategy.
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SPORTS: Sports took back seat on trip to Castro's CubaRestricted Content

August 14, 2006
Bill Benner
It was one of the worst from the perspective that so many of the things I take for granted here-clean water, dependable electricity, food you could trust, communications tools and, most of all, freedom-weren't to be found there, at least not consistently. But that perspective also made it one of the best experiences because it reminded me of all the wonderful things we have here in America, starting with freedom. It was heartbreaking to travel around Havana and imagine how...
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Dispute over retail at Hamilton Proper boils over: Some homeowners bucking HDG Mansur managementRestricted Content

August 14, 2006
Jennifer Whitson
Tensions between the developer of Hamilton Proper and some of its homeowners spilled into public view at the Fishers Town Council meeting Aug. 7, with the council president becoming so agitated he broke his gavel. Another councilor, Charles White, opened the meeting by complaining about the council's July 17 decision to reject an application by HDG Mansur, the developer of Hamilton Proper, to build an 11-acre retail project on the periphery of the subdivision. White had been absent for that...
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IRL losing momentum againRestricted Content

August 7, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
Smoke coming from the Indy Racing League's business model indicates it's leaking oil. Two IRL teams recently folded and at least two more are in serious financial distress. Television ratings and race attendance is either flat or trailing last season.
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Let's throw energy into public safety: We ignore crime at our perilRestricted Content

August 7, 2006
When yet another media story appears about jail overcrowding, it's tempting to look away, to focus instead on rising gas prices, out-of-control health insurance costs or other pressing problems confronting your company. But make no mistake: Crime is a business issue. And it is escalating. Major offenses reported to the Indianapolis Police Department through April were up 22 percent over the first four months of 2005. Probably fueling that increase are the growing numbers of inmates being released early from...
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SPORTS: Fervently hoping that Gatlin, Landis are innocentRestricted Content

August 7, 2006
Bill Benner
Until proven otherwise, I like to believe the best about people. This past May, I emceed a luncheon at which an engaging young man named Justin Gatlin was the featured attraction. He came to Indianapolis to help promote locally based USA Track & Field's national championships, and he arrived in our town within hours of tying the world record in the 100 meters. I couldn't have been more impressed with Gatlin, wrote glowingly about him in this column, and encouraged...
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SPORTS: Twenty-five attractions for the true sports fanRestricted Content

July 31, 2006
Bill Benner
Time to reprise the list (besides, I'm on vacation): The top 25 must-see's, must-do's to be a true, bona fide, no-doubt-aboutit Indiana sports fan. 1. The Indianapolis 500. OK, it's not quite what it used to be. But it still is the largest single-day sporting event in the world. And few moments in sport can match the flying start of the race. 2. A basketball game in Hinkle Fieldhouse, either high school or the Butler Bulldogs. Hinkle remains the mecca....
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Farming for tourists on the rise: Wine trails find followersRestricted Content

July 31, 2006
Scott Olson
Whether you prefer a Chardonnay or Merlot, or you're simply trying to recall the opening lyrics to "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant," one thing is certain: Indiana wineries are hardly withering on the vine. The Hoosier State now boasts 32 wineries and should add two more by the end of fall, according to the Indiana Wine Grape Council at Purdue University. Moreover, the winemakers are helping drive the state's fledgling agri-tourism efforts. "Nobody wants to tour a hog farm, but...
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TAWN PARENT Commentary: In defense of daydreamingRestricted Content

July 31, 2006
In addition to standbys like Little League and Girl Scouts, our children have the opportunity to learn sailing at Geist Reservoir, strut their stuff at the Jewish Community Center's Broadway camp, or try medieval fantasy drawing at the Indianapolis Art Center. With such an appetizing array of choices, it's hard to resist serving our kids a heaping plateful. Most of us want to give our children advantages we were not afforded, and "Mixed Media for Preschoolers" certainly qualifies. Besides, who...
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Speedway's first cycling race draws national attention: Lance Armstrong-backed event could go annualRestricted Content

July 31, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
The Race 2 Replace bicycle race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at first appeared to be just another local fund-raiser. Now, the Lance Armstrong-backed event put on by the professional cycling team he co-owns appears to be rolling up enough momentum to have a significant economic impact on Indianapolis. IMS President Joie Chitwood is calling the Aug. 12 race a "historic day at the track." Race 2 Replace promoters said the IMS' first-ever bicycle race is poised to become an...
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Indiana Ice looking to build new arena: Hamilton County targeted for $25M, 5,000-seat facilityRestricted Content

July 24, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
Indiana Ice owner Paul Skjodt is rolling out a plan to build a 5,000-seat hockey arena in Hamilton County to keep his team skating into the black. If he pulls it off, he could be the first franchise owner to achieve long-term financial stability in Indianapolis' seven-decade hockey history. To fortify his effort, Skjodt recently hired a vice president of sales and marketing-someone with experience launching new arenas-and launched a grass-roots marketing campaign he hopes to parlay into profitability. Skjodt,...
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SPORTS: Can U.S. pros reach the world hoops summit?Restricted Content

July 24, 2006
Bill Benner
Team USA gathered in Las Vegas this past week to begin its attempt to reclaim America's rightful place-which would be first place-in international basketball. Imagine, American hoopsters with a hill to climb. Who'd a thunk it? Well, me, for one. Anyone who was paying attention to international hoops-and I happen to be an aficionado-could see that America's dominance, so pronounced when the 1992 Olympic Dream Team pounded hapless opponents on its way to the gold medal, was slip, slip, slipping...
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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Newsman reflects on iconic pastRestricted Content

July 24, 2006
One of the great things about being a newspaperman is that you get the inside scoop on everything. Even more so than reporters, editors have a unique perspective because they are in on the details of all the big news that's breaking. They are also privy to lots of information and background that doesn't end up in print for one reason or another. So it is with a sense of collegial empathy that I highly recommend an upcoming book by...
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TOM HARTON Commentary: Driving the distance for the basicsRestricted Content

July 17, 2006
I recently called my doctor's office hoping he could squeeze me in to diagnose a minor, but annoying, health problem. His nurse informed me I wouldn't be able to get an appointment for at least three days. She suggested I go to an immediate-care facility if I needed attention right away. I was surprised the doctor couldn't see me, but I appreciated the nurse's candor. She knew better than to cheerfully suggest an appointment days in the future, by which...
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SPORTS Bill Benner: Giving up the corner office to follow your passionRestricted Content

July 17, 2006
My friend, former boss and fellow Jimmy Buffett Parrothead, Dale Neuburger, asked that I not turn this into one of those "Where are they now?" pieces because (A) he hasn't been gone that long and (B) he hasn't gone that far. With regards to the latter, Neuburger still occupies an office in Pan Am Plaza, though not the top-floor corner office with its dramatic view of the city skyline, one of the perks associated with the presidency of the Indiana...
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BULLS & BEARS: Use paper, fifth-grade math to track investment resultsRestricted Content

July 17, 2006
Ken Skarbeck
Throughout history, we have devised methods to calculate and measure results for all kinds of activities. In academics, we have grading systems that measure student performance. In sports, the most important factor in any game is the score. But when it comes to keeping track of investment results, I suspect that many investors do not have a good grasp on how well their money has performed. Attempting to keep a mental scorecard of the rate of return on your investments...
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Players' desire to shorten season could doom RCA ChampionshipsRestricted Content

July 17, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
Officials for the WTA, which represents women professional players, and the ATP, which represents men, are considering shortening the lengthy tennis calendar by imposing a short offseason-possibly a three-week, midyear respite that would collide with the RCA Championships.
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SPORTS: Ames, Iowa: site of my 'goose-bump' sports momentRestricted Content

July 10, 2006
Bill Benner
I've been blessed to experience a multitude of "goose-bump" moments in sports. Watching Indiana's Hoosiers complete a perfect season and win a national basketball title in Philadelphia. Jack Nicklaus capturing a Masters at age 46. Hoosier Fuzzy Zoeller winning a U.S. Open at Winged Foot in a playoff with Greg Norman. A New Castle/Batesville high school basketball regional championship game at Chrysler Fieldhouse that epitomized all that boys' basketball used to be in Indiana. So many incredible performances at Olympic...
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Animated startup foresees big growth in life sciences: Company produces 3-D graphics with young talentRestricted Content

July 10, 2006
Scott Olson
Harlon Wilson and Kurtis Rush originally intended their Indianapolis-based upstart business to provide 3-D animation for use in court cases. But if they had stuck to that business plan, Medical Animatics Inc. could not have produced the video to the hilarious "Urine Stream," a song parody of Abba's "Dancing Queen." Here's a sample of the chorus: So when you get the chance, undo your pants ... And make a urine stream, gold and clean, oh it's such a dream. Urine...
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NOTIONS: Hailing the hare in the land of the tepid tortoiseRestricted Content

July 10, 2006
Bruce Hetrick
I was going to play smart aleck this week. I was going to write in hick dialect. I was going to lambaste us Hoosiers over our stubborn adherence to the status quo, our penchant to take things slow, our preference for partisanship, our pooh-poohing of progress and our bull-headed gumption to go it alone in a global economy. Then news broke that Indiana has the highest high school dropout rate in America. So I figured that for two reasons, I'd...
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  1. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  2. If you only knew....

  3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

  4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

  5. Please consider a couple of economic realities: First, retail is more consolidated now than it was when malls like this were built. There used to be many department stores. Now, in essence, there is one--Macy's. Right off, you've eliminated the need for multiple anchor stores in malls. And in-line retailers have consolidated or folded or have stopped building new stores because so much of their business is now online. The Limited, for example, Next, malls are closing all over the country, even some of the former gems are now derelict.Times change. And finally, as the income level of any particular area declines, so do the retail offerings. Sad, but true.

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